Oculus Rift: Toyota Uses Virtual Reality to Teach Distracted Drivers

Oculus Rift hasn’t even hit the consumer market yet, but that hasn’t stopped developers from creating unique experiences with the virtual reality device.

With the Detroit Auto Show underway this week, Toyota unveiled its new TeenDrive365 distracted driving simulator using Oculus.

After getting behind the wheel of a stationary car, users then strap on the lightweight Oculus headset and are taken to a virtual city street.

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The driver will be tasked with navigating traffic while dealing with distractions, including other drivers, passengers, the radio and text messages.

If the driver gets distracted, they’ll “experience the consequences of distracted driving within the virtual setting,” according to Toyota.

Marjorie Schussel, a marketing director at Toyota, said the experience “mirrors real life behind the wheel, giving us a powerful, one-of-a-kind way to show parents and teens how everyday distractions can affect their ability to drive safely.”

Toyota said it plans to bring the Oculus experience to auto shows around the United States.

It’s the latest innovation with Oculus, which was acquired by Facebook last year for $2 billion.

The technology has already been leveraged by real estate professionals, fitness companies and even British Columbia’s tourism board to create an incredible virtual travel experience.

While there’s no release date yet for the consumer version of the Oculus virtual reality headset, CEO Brendan Iribe said said in November that a consumer release is “months, not years away, but many months.”

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